This animation short by Ryan Larkin (Walking, Street Musique, etc.) recounts some “comical experiences” Larkin had during his many years as a panhandler in Montreal. It tells the story of Astral Pan, a street beggar (voiced by Larkin himself), who takes us on a wild journey from the sidewalks of a wintry Montreal day, to the gates of Heaven and Hell and back. The great filmmaker passed away before finishing his film. Spare Change was completed by a friend, producer and singer-songwriter Laurie Gordon, assisted by a team of young, devoted animators.
Original music by Laurie Gordon's band Chiwawa, featuring the single "Do It For Me."
In this award-winning animation-documentary, we meet two unusual artists. Ryan Larkin was once a brilliant filmmaker who ended up on the streets in Montreal. Chris Landreth is a rising star in animation beginning to experience the kind of adulation Larkin received decades earlier.
With excerpts from both men's Oscar®-nominated works, this film delves into the tale of Larkin’s descent and the fascinating relationship that developed between the two men. It is a poignant study of artists, addiction and creativity.
In this animated short, Oscar® winner Chris Landreth returns with a poignant story of redemption that takes us into the relationship between a man and a woman trapped in a spiral of mutual destruction after 26 years of marriage. The Spine continues Landreth's pursuit of a twisted, beautiful and highly original visual aesthetic, using digital imagery to create characters whose physical appearances are metaphors for their unique souls.
Animator Ryan Larkin does a visual improvisation to music performed by a popular group presented as sidewalk entertainers. His take-off point is the music, but his own beat is more boisterous than that of the musicians. The illustrations range from convoluted abstractions to caricatures of familiar rituals. Without words.
In this short animation, Oscar®-winning director Chris Landreth (Ryan, 2004) uses a common social gaffe—forgetting somebody’s name—as the starting point for a mind-bending romp through the unconscious. Inspired by the classic TV game show Password, the film features a wealth of animated celebrity guests who try to prompt our beleaguered protagonist to remember his old pal's name. Finally, he realizes he must surrender to his predicament and jump head-first into his subconscious to find the answer.
In this experimental animated short, Ryan Larkin (Walking) creates a series of figures who move across the screen and disappear into a hole. Eventually, the hole metamorphoses into a bridge, on top of which stands the young man from whom the others figures originated.
The NFB's 26th Oscar®-nominated film.
Animator Ryan Larkin uses an artist's sensibility to illustrate the way people walk. He employs a variety of techniques--line drawing, colour wash, etc.--to catch and reproduce the motion of people afoot. The springing gait of youth, the mincing step of the high-heeled female, the doddering amble of the elderly--all are registered with humour and individuality, to the accompaniment of special sound. Without words.
Ride the commuter train with this animated short that questions what goes on it the hearts of minds of the train's silent passengers. Filmmakers Lewis Trondheim and Jean Matthieu Tanguy take a common, humdrum experience and turn it into a captivating journey tinged with some delicious, deadpan humour.This film is part of the Comic Strip Chronicles, a collection of shorts celebrating the strong affinity between comic strips and animated film. Inspired by moments of everyday life, these films showcase the playful imaginations of renowned artists Guy Delisle, Zviane, Aude Picault, Lewis Trondheim, and Jean Matthieu Tanguy. Produced by the NFB, Canal+, and Sacrebleu.
This film is part of a series of television programs including interviews with the directors of short animated films as well as the films themselves. This video includes 2 animated shorts: Quilt (by Gayle Thomas), an animated tribute to patchwork quilting and Scant Sanity (by John Weldon), an exploration into the nature of the mind and reality in which a person seeking job counseling receives psychiatric treatment instead, thereupon becoming convinced of the reality of his own internal world.
The NFB's 64th Oscar®-nominated film.
In this animated short, Ruby the pig seeks affirmation in the city around her after witnessing the accidental death of a stranger… and finds it in surprising places. With deft humour and finely rendered detail, When the Day Breaks illuminates the links that connect our urban lives, while evoking the promise and fragility of a new day. Winner of over 40 prizes from around the world, the film also features singer Martha Wainwright.
This film took home an Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film. When Margaret plans a celebration for her husband Bob, she underestimates the sudden impact of middle age on his mood. A witty, offbeat animated portrait of a frustrated dentist wrestling with the fundamental issues of life proves that birthdays (and surprise parties) can be very tricky indeed.
This animated short by Paul Driessen tells the story of a boy with an overactive imagination. The young protagonist, bored with his lot, imagines a diabolic and dangerous life of adventure. But when he finally finds himself facing a real-life drama, the mundane life that he always wanted to escape is what he wishes to recapture.
Ages 16 to 17
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Family Studies/Home Economics - Housing
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Before viewing, ask students to brainstorm attitudes to homeless people and panhandling. After viewing, they can assess the film's effect on their perspectives, research related issues, and debate viewpoints. Ask writing students to respond to theme or images, in poetry. Have media and film students examine the drawing and sound techniques, and create a very short animation on any theme, using manual or digital flipbook, or other digital animation.